Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called State Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar “a corrupted man” yesterday. She claimed that his links with the 1996 hawala scam is yet to be cleared and urged the media to check “whether there was a charge sheet or not” for the same. She also said that Dhankar was trying to “ split Bengal” as she mentioned his meetings with “separatist leaders” and BJP leaders demanding a separate state in north Bengal during his Darjeeling visit. Banerjee had asked the Centre to “recall Dhankar” and ‘urged Delhi to let go of its ego and consider her plea’.

“He is trying to disturb peace in north Bengal. He called and met separatist leaders. He is urging them to launch protests. Is this a governor’s duty?” she asked. “He went to Delhi for three days and then Gurgaon before heading to north Bengal, why did he choose to tour north Bengal suddenly? Who did he meet: BJP MPs, MLAs and block presidents?” she asked. 

“Why would such a governor be sent here? Is the central government’s only job to disturb state governments? Can’t they digest, tolerate, accept their defeat? They use ED and CBI. All these to disturb people when a pandemic is raging,” she added. 

Elaborating on her “hawala” comment, she said: “Someone sent me this. There was an FIR but they went to court and got their names cleared. Subsequently, however, a PIL or writ petition has been filed. This is pending.” 

Responding to Dhankar’s GTA charges the CM said, “How many people went with him? How much money was spent on this visit? What happened at the governor’s house? Who are the people who meet him regularly? All this should be probed first. An internal audit has already been conducted on GTA. Why CAG? Can’t the state probe this? Why are they so angry with Darjeeling?” 

In her opinion, the West Bengal governor is a dictator. “ He is dictating to everyone, from the highest authority in the state to officers. He is calling officers and saying: ‘You are under scanner.’ He is calling and saying: ‘You are under threat.’ Who is he to say all this rubbish? I have maintained silence till now but am being forced to speak. I will meet him if called and will respond to his calls. This is my courtesy. There is a constitution as well. And there are duties and responsibilities. I cannot accept that he will keep saying whatever he wants, will keep doing whatever he wants,” said Mamata Banerjee. The rage between them can be seen through The Chief Minister’s words.

The Trinamool Congress responded to Dhankhar’s press conference, stating that the governor is a “magnificent cipher”, nothing else.

Party MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray asked, “He seeks so many reports from the state, he could have at least given a gist of what he did in Delhi. Why did he have to go to Darjeeling with such alacrity, braving landslides and rains, immediately after his return from Delhi?”.He added “all this clamour of post-poll violence is to influence the judiciary and rights bodies. He is the governor, he should first explain why so many people died between the announcement of poll dates and the result declaration. He was working on behalf of the state with the EC at that time.”